4 Things You Need to Know to Get Started with an EMV Chip Card Reader

October 2015

The EMV liability shift is well underway. If your business accepts on-site credit card payments—but hasn’t implemented an EMV-compatible credit card terminal—you could be responsible for bearing the cost of a stolen credit card or fraudulent account information being used to make a purchase at your business.

Whether you have started to use an EMV-compatible terminal or are planning to upgrade in the near future, there are several considerations for making the transaction as seamless as possible for both your employees and your customers.

“Merchants are really interested in eliminating friction when accepting payments,” said Norm Merritt, president and CEO of ShopKeep, a cloud-based iPad point of sale solution for small businesses. “They want to continue to make it as easy as possible for customers to make a transaction.”

Here are four things you and your employees need to know to make the adoption  of an EMV chip card technology as simple as possible: 

1. How to Process an EMV Transaction

The process of accepting EMV chip card payments is a bit different from that of the familiar magnetic strip. Here’s how the transaction will work:

Step 1: Insert
When it’s time to pay, customers will dip their card (chip-first) into a slot in the credit card terminal and wait to be prompted. The slot is usually in the bottom. The customer should keep the card in the terminal.

Step 2: Hang Tight
Data stored in the EMV card’s chip (unique to every transaction) will flow between your terminal, processor and gateway, to authorize the card.

Step 3: Verify
Once the card is given the all clear, your customers will sign to verify they are who they say they are.

Step 4: Remove
When the transaction has been verified, your customers are free to remove their chip cards and go about the rest of their day.

2. EMV terminals will guide customers through the transaction.

If a customer does have a chip card, he or she may instinctively swipe it in the terminal. If and when that happens, the terminal display will alert the customer and employee that the chip-card needs to be inserted.

3. Not all customers will have a chip card.

Over one-third of customers don’t have credit cards with EMV chips, so for a large percentage of consumers, buying will be business as usual. When purchasing an EMV-compatible reader make sure that it also supports contactless payments like Apple Pay and traditional magnetic stripe cards. The majority of EMV-compatible are able to process these multiple payment types, but it's worth confirming before you spend a money upgrading your setup..

4. EMV does not work like ATM.

The quick card dip in and out required at many ATMs will not work at an EMV reader. The card has to be inserted into the terminal and left in place until the transaction has been verified. When it is time to remove the card, the terminal will prompt the customer or employee.

“It’s a little different and it takes a little longer than the swipe, and the merchants will have to accommodate for that,” said Merritt.

Remember, becoming EMV compliant means more security, for you and your customers.

Replicating a credit card with an EMV chip is nearly impossible, leading to a significant reduction in fraudulent charges at the point-of-sale..

To ensure you are doing all you can to protect your customers’ information, choose an EMV terminal that has point-to-point encryption to safeguard the customers’ data. This technology immediately encrypts customer data and, therefore, keeps sensitive information hacker-proof.

ShopKeep’s iPad point of sale solution is EMV compatible and has point-to-point encryption technology. As an exclusive, special offer, ShopKeep is offering a free EMV-capable card reader to Time Warner Cable Business Class customers when signing up with ShopKeep.  



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